Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism

Delivering Feedback – Constructive Criticism

The world being the kind of place it is, sometimes even the most positive and fair minded manager finds they need to criticize something.  How can you as a manager do this in a way that is constructive, maintains the relationship and leads to improvement.  Here are some tips.

  • Check the facts very carefully before you begin!
  • Don’t judge the person, judge the behaviour.  A person’s behaviour is not who they are. And who they are, is not your responsibility.  Deal with what you have seen and have evidence for!
  • Be clear, specific and factual in what you say.  Focus on what is happening now and how changes will affect the future. Dwelling on the past is unlikely to influence future behaviour
  • Listen very carefully to the response. Pay attention to explanations and objections – treat them with respect even if you can’t accept them. Be alert to difficulties the person has experienced; listen out for training needs and follow them up.
  • Acknowledge the response and make it clear that you understand what has been said! Be honest enough to admit it, if you got things wrong and apologize.
  • Express yourself assertively – not with diffidence, nor with anger or aggression. Focus clearly on the change you wish to see.

Remember constructive criticism always has a positive goal and that is to make a change for the better – keep that in mind all the time you are giving feedback.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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